If you were injured in an auto accident or due to another person’s
negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from the other party at
fault. The lawyers at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. have years of experience
successfully handling and taking to trial personal injury lawsuits. Our
staff recognizes the stress an unexpected injury can add to all areas
of your life, and we are dedicated to helping ease the financial burden.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations, or time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit
in Georgia civil court, is generally two years from the date of the incident.
If a lawsuit is not filed within that time period, the claim will usually
be time barred and the court will not hear your claim. Claims against
governmental entities (the state, counties and municipalities) have specific
notice requirements (ante litem notice) that must be followed. In Georgia,
ante litem notice may be as soon as 6 months after an incident and if
the proper ante litem notice is not provided the claim will be barred.
It is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident
to ensure your claim will not be barred due to a lack of proper notice
or missing a statute of limitations.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive?
In Georgia, all parties are held responsible for damages proportionate
to their percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is found by a jury to be
50% or more at fault for his or her injuries, he or she cannot recover
any compensation from the defendant. If the defendant is greater that
50% at fault, then the plaintiff can recover damages, but the recovery
will be reduced by plaintiff’s degree of fault. In Georgia, a plaintiff
may be entitled to compensation from other potentially liable parties for:
Medical expenses relating to the injury at issue;
Any lost wages (possibly including future income) that are a direct result
of the injury;
Compensation for severe emotional anguish;
Reimbursement for relevant property damage;
Loss of society, companionship or consortium;
Pain and suffering.
In limited circumstances, an injured plaintiff may be able to recover punitive
damages. This type of damages is available in cases where a defendant’s
actions “showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression,
or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious
indifference to consequences.” Punitive damages are designed to
punish, penalize or deter a defendant’s actions. Punitive damages
are governed by
Georgia Code Section 51-12-5.1. Georgia’s punitive damages statute places a $250,000 cap on any
award of punitive damages. The exceptions to this cap are product liability
claims and cases where “defendant acted, or failed to act, with
the specific intent to cause harm,” or where defendant acted or
failed to act while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or
any intentionally consumed substance to such a degree that his or her
judgment is substantially impaired.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of another party’s
negligent, reckless, or malicious conduct,
the attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. as soon as possible for a